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How Humble Cabbage Grew to become a Culinary Darling at Fancy Eating places

How Humble Cabbage Grew to become a Culinary Darling at Fancy Eating places

If you follow the Chinese zodiac, 2024 is the year of the dragon. According to Pantone, it’s the year of peach fuzz. And in the restaurant industry, it’s looking like 2024 will belong to the humble cabbage.

The cruciferous vegetable is popping up on restaurant menus from coast to coast, The New York Times reported on Sunday. And while it’s long been a workhorse of many cuisines—think Korean kimchi or Irish corned beef—chefs are getting creative with cabbage.

“I think 2024 is going to be a really exciting year in cabbage,” the celeb farmer Lee Jones told the Times.

The rise of cabbage is in line with that of other hearty vegetables that chefs turn to in the cooler months, when fresh produce is less abundant. Greens like kale and Brussels sprouts have had a similar time in the spotlight, for example. Cabbage, though, has the added benefits of being cheap, long-lasting, and particularly bountiful.

Hit restaurants across the country have taken notice, adding cabbage dishes up and down their menus. At Michael Stoltzfus’s Coquette in New Orleans, one of the most popular dishes is a charred wedge of green cabbage atop turnip ravigote, covered with Parmesan. “It’s something we joke about,” he told The New York Times. “Our best-selling appetizer is the thing we’re most excited about, and also by far our best cost margin.” That’s particularly important at a time when restaurants are dealing with rising costs across the board.

You can also get in on the cabbage trend at Nancy Silverton’s Chi Spacca in Los Angeles, where a wedge of cabbage is stuffed with ‘nduja then garnished with Taleggio fondue and green scallion oil. Or at Victoria Blamey’s Blanca in New York City, where Murdoc cabbage is accompanied by king crab and vanilla.

“Cabbage can be as classy and luxurious as anything else,” Blamey told the Times.

Home cooks might need some convincing, though: Only a third of grocery shoppers bought cabbage in 2023, down slightly from 2022, according to data cited in the newspaper. (Somewhat surprisingly, more high-earners bought the vegetable than lower-income consumers.) Still, restaurant trends tend to find their way into our own kitchens, so be prepared to see cabbage on the menu when you head to your next dinner party.


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Source: Robb Report

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